I have been away for a few days. Here are the updates
FOCUS-UK waiters must know if foods contain GMOs
March 19, 1999
LONDON, Reuters [WS] via NewsEdge Corporation : British waiters will have
to be able to tell diners whether their food contains genetically modified
soya or maize, under new rules announced on Thursday by food safety
minister Jeff Rooker.
And if they cannot, their employers in any of some 125,000 catering
establishments of various types, from hot-dog stands to the most expensive
restaurant in Britain, face fines of up to 5,000 pounds, Rooker said.
The same fine is imposed on food shops if they fail to label according to
the EU rules.
``We don't think it's impractical,'' Rooker told a news conference at the
ministry of agriculture. ``If a customer wants to ask if any ingredients
have been genetically modified
then they ought to be able to answer,'' he said.
U.S. urges EU to speed up GM crop approvals
March 19, 1999
BRUSSELS, Reuters [WS] via NewsEdge Corporation : The European Union must
act swiftly to improve its approval system for genetically modified crops
which is losing U.S. firms millions of dollars, Richard Rominger, Deputy
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, said on Thursday.
``For the U.S., in the short term, the EU's lengthy, complex process costs
us money -- about $200 million last year in lost exports to Spain, Portugal
and other EU members,'' Rominger told a Brussels conference on GMOs.
FOCUS-Euro stores link to seek non-modified foods
By Richard Meares
LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - Major European supermarkets, fighting U.S.
refusal to say if foods are genetically modified, set up a consortium on
Wednesday to ensure no such ingredients make it into their own-label
Britain's J.Sainsbury Plc said it had formed the organisation with six
other European supermarket groups to weed genetically modified (GM) foods
out of any stage of production. By establishing verified non-GM sources in
the farmers' field and ensuring segregation through the supply chain, we
will be GM-free," it said in a statement.
"This move will enable Sainsbury's to eliminate all GM ingredients from its
own-label products in response to customer demand for GM-free foods." The
environmentalist group Greenpeace hoped other retailers would follow suit,
saying:. "This is the beginning of the end of trying to force-feed
consumers unwanted and unneeded genetically manipulated food."
The consortium includes Britain's Marks & Spencer, Carrefour of France,
Delhaize of Belgium, Italy's Effelunga, Swiss Migros and Superquinn of
Restaurants must declare any GM food
The Daily Telegraph, London
18 March 1999
RESTAURANTS and cafes will be forced to tell their customers about any
genetically modified ingredients contained in their food under measures to
be announced by the Government today.
It is expected that declarations will have to be made on menus. Bakers and
delicatessens will also have to comply with the new labelling controls,
which will exceed current European Union requirements.
At present EU labelling regulations lay down that all foods sold in shops
and supermarkets must be clearly marked if they contain more than two per
cent of GM ingredients. The move follows an announcement this week that
Marks & Spencer is to ban all genetically
modified food from its shelves.
Daily Telegraph 19.3.99 UK
Fines for failing to declare GM food attacked
By David Brown, Agriculture Editor
CAFES and restaurants will be fined up to £5,000 if they fail to tell
customers that they are serving genetically modified food, the Government
announced yesterday. The measures - the first of their kind in the European
Union - will come into force today.
Under the Food Labelling (Amendment) Regulations 1999, trading standards
officers will have the power to check bakers, delicatessens and other
establishments, including hot dog stands, to make sure they declare
genetically modified ingredients.
But the move, forecast in The Telegraph yesterday, was immediately
denounced as "a con" by environmental groups who said it did not go far
enough to guarantee proper choice for consumers. Restaurateurs said it
would be too difficult to enforce.
The powers, announced by Jeff Rooker, the food safety minister, cover only
foods containing genetically modified soya and maize. They do not cover
derivatives of GM soya and maize including oils which are used in a wide
range of food processes including chocolate. This is because, Mr Rooker
explained, they are not covered by EU regulations.
posted by Paul Davis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UK Daily Mail 16 March 99
A million mutant animals used in GM experiments By SEAN POULTER
Consumer Affairs Correspondent
MORE than one million animals have been genetic modified for use in British
laboratory experiments in the past four years.
The bulk of the research involved mice and rats and was carried out in the
hope of medical breakthroughs. Scientists however have also started
creating genetically modified animals which could be farmed for food. Pigs,
cattle, sheep, chicken and fish are being altered so they grow faster, are
bigger and produce more young.
While advocates of the technology point to the potential benefits in the
field of medicine, the possibility of clones and other GM animals being
used in farming can only fuel the already intense debate over genetically
modified foods. The most recent statistics show 353,000 GM animals were
used in experiments in 1997, a 17 per cent increase on the 303,000 in 1996
and more than 60 per cent up on the 215,308 1995.
Thursday March 18, 6:30 pm Eastern Time
Brazil state threatens to destroy Monsanto soy
By Phil Stewart
SAO PAULO, March 18 (Reuters) - Brazil's major soybean producing state of
Rio Grande do Sul is threatening to destroy genetically-modified soybeans
grown on a test plot by the local unit of U.S. biotechnology giant Monsanto
Co. (NYSE:MTC - news).
``The soybean area will be destroyed by the end of the month if they
continue in violation of state law,'' the state's Agriculture Secretary
Jose Hermeto Hoffamann told Reuters.
Rio Grande do Sul, which aims to sell soybeans to European consumers
opposed to transgenics, accused the multinational of breaking a new, March
3 state law by failing to provide an environmental risk analysis for the
435-hectare test plot.
France's Auchan Joins Drive To Weed Out GM Foods
PARIS (Reuters) - French retailers say they have led the way in the drive
among European supermarkets to root out genetically modified foods from
among their own-brand products.
Spurred on by a fresh wave of consumer concern, family-owned Auchan Friday
added its name to a list of European retailers who are outlawing genetic
engineering in their own-brand food.
Both Auchan and rival Carrefour say a policy of eradicating GM ingredients
from their own products, as heralded by Britain's J. Sainsbury Plc this
week, has been in place in their supply chains for over a year.
SUPERMARKETS SAY FOOD LABELLING ``DOES NOT GO FAR ENOU
PA News 19.03.99 03:49
Major supermarket chains have vowed to inform consumers about any GM
ingredients in their products after declaring that new Government labelling
laws on genetically modified foods do not go far enough.
The move came after the Government announced yesterday it was extending
existing European Union rules on GM labelling to cover the catering trade.
Diners eating out at restaurants, cafes and even burger bars will be told
if the food they are eating contains GM ingredients. The Government said
new powers enforcing EU regulations on the labelling of GM food will
include fines of up to 5,000 for anyone breaching the rules and will be
extended to cover the catering industry.
After the announcement the UK's major food retailers - including the
supermarket chains M&S, Sainsbury's, Safeway, Tesco, Asda, Somerfield,
Waitrose and Morrison's - said they would now adopt a policy of labelling
all GM derivatives. The British Retail Consortium, which represents 90% of
UK retailers, issued a statement on behalf of its members stating that the
decision had been made because the Government legislation did not go far
enough to help consumers.
The BRC said retailers had introduced GM labelling long before yesterday's
announcement and the supermarkets had been looking into the possibility of
extending this to GM derivatives for some time. The major supermarkets said
they will label GM soya and maize derivatives in all their own-brand foods
although it is not clear how long this process will take.
21 March 99
Iceland sales rise 9 per cent after the ban on GM foods
By Ben Laurance Sunday March 21, 1999
Food retailer Iceland is expected this week to unveil sales figures showing
that it is reaping big sales increases in the wake of its stand against
genetically modified foods.
Iceland last year launched a drive to ensure that nothing it sold contained
GM ingredients. Other, larger, food retailing groups have subsequently
said they will try to phase out GM ingredients from their merchandise.
Iceland is expected this week to publish figures showing that its
like-for-like sales - that is sales excluding the effect of
opening new stores - have been around 9 per cent higher in the first 10
weeks of 1999 than they were a year earlier.
The [other] major supermarket chains have shown far more modest sales
increases, according to recent information. Sainsbury's like-for-like sales
were up 1.5 per cent over Christmas; Tesco's increase was 3.1 per cent and
Safeway's 3 per cent.
Richard Wolfson, PhD
Consumer Right to Know Campaign,
for Mandatory Labelling and Long-term
Testing of all Genetically Engineered Foods,
500 Wilbrod Street
Ottawa, ON Canada K1N 6N2
tel. 613-565-8517 fax. 613-565-1596
Our website, http://www.natural-law.ca/genetic/geindex.html
contains more information on genetic engineering as well as previous
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